Arroyo Hondo Historic Adobe

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Things To Do: Places of Interest and Heritage

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  •  Arroyo Hondo Historic Adobe

    Vincente Ortega, last Ortega family member to live at Arroyo Hondo

    The earliest known inhabitants of Arroyo Hondo are from the Barbareno-Chumash civilization 5,000 years ago. Evidence of a permanent Chumash camp has been discovered buried deep in the lower canyon.

    Rancho Arroyo Hondo was part of the original 26,530-acre Rancho Nuestra Señora del Refugio Mexican land grant to former Santa Barbara Presidio Commandant Jose Francisco Ortega in 1827. The adobe house was built in 1842 by the Ortega family and was used as a stagecoach stop on the route between Lompoc and Santa Barbara in the late 1800s.

    As the railroad and highway were being constructed, the adobe also served as a bar and eatery for the workers. Historic photos show a small schoolhouse where children along the Gaviota Coast came to school.

    The canyon was also known to be a refuge for several well-known outlaws including Joaquin Murrieta, Jack Powers and Judge Edward McGowan and a vineyard site for the Santa Inez Mission Padres.

    Mission-era grapevines still grow among the tall Sycamore trees in the lower canyon. Jennie B. Hollister purchased the ranch from the Ortega family in 1908, and her family held the property until the Land Trust purchased it in 2001.

    Visiting

    Everyone is welcome to visit the Preserve to hike, picnic, paint, volunteer or do research but advance reservations are required. The Preserve is open the first and third full weekends of each month, and every Monday and Wednesday for school and community groups. Free nature hikes with one of our knowledgeable docents are held at 10:00am on Saturday and Sunday of weekends that are open to the public.

    Reservations Required

    Please make your reservation with the Arroyo Hondo Preserve Managers at arroyohondo@nullsblandtrust.org or by calling (805) 567-1115.

    Learn More →

    Article by Chris Chapman in the Independent

  • Address: 15550 El Camino Real
    Gaviota
    Gaviota Coast
    93117
    United States
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  • The adobe at Arroyo Hondo, and a small orchard planted by the padres at the Santa Ines Mission are still present at the Arroyo Hondo Preserve which is now owned and managed by the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County.
  • From Santa Barbara: Traveling northbound on the U.S. Highway 101, the Preserve is about a thirty minute drive from downtown and approximately four miles past Refugio State Beach. After the Refugio exit, pay attention to the blue CalTrans call boxes spaced one mile apart on the right hand side. The Arroyo Hondo entrance is located at call box 101-412. Make an immediate right hand turn into the driveway.

    From Buellton/Lompoc: Traveling southbound on the U.S. Highway 101, approximately 6 miles past Gaviota State Park and a mile after the Vista Point Rest Area, look for the blue CalTrans Call Box #101-403. Be in the left hand lane. Just after the Call Box, make a u-turn (turn lane provided) onto the northbound lanes of the U.S. Highway 101. In a mile, make a sharp right turn into the Preserve immediately after blue CalTrans Call Box #101-412.

    If you miss the U-turn, the next turnaround is at Refugio State Beach about four miles south. Come down the driveway, cross the bridge and park near the barn.

    To return to Santa Barbara: Head north a few miles to Mariposa Reina exit, get off, go over bridge and enter southbound on ramp.